JLo? Really?

Celebrity divorce news is hardly news. It seems that so-called Hollywood power couples jump in and out of marriages (and engagements, for that matter) the way most of us switch diets.

The most recent split to catch my eye?

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony of course, announced earlier this week.

Somehow this marital meltdown seems more surprising – because they have three-year old twins, because we didn’t see it coming, and perhaps because it’s certainly no Starter Marriage. They’ve been married for seven years, which in Hollywood time (like dog years?) is a considerable period.

Lessons in Love?

Is there anything that “regular” people can learn from the speed with which our pop icons fall in and out of love? From these serial marriages and divorces? Or is this so much gossipy filler to pass 20 minutes and procrastinate the day’s chores?

Certainly, the Kelsey Grammer “affair” was one of particular interest – not only for Grammer’s serial marriages (Kayte, whom he married a few months back, was Wife Number 4) – but for the issues to do with men leaving women for the younger model, wildly wealthy couples and their flavor of divorce wars, and in general, a nasty dissolution played out in the tabloids.

Divorce Wars, Behind Closed Doors

Lopez and Anthony seem to be handling their break-up without the typical three-ring circus, requesting privacy and describing their doings as “amicable.”

My hat is off to them for that. Any sort of romantic relationship in the public eye can’t be easy; it’s tough enough out of the public eye. But given the past record of marriages, divorces, engagements, and the rapid pace from one to another, I furrow my brow and purse my lips – as usual – at our cultural tendency to tie the knot over and over, and I ask myself why.

Especially in Hollywood, where not walking down the aisle doesn’t pose the social (or financial) complications that it may elsewhere in this country.

Serial Monogamy, Serial Marriage

I can only imagine there will be another marriage (or two?) for each of these attractive personalities – eventually. And this doesn’t strike me as a Paul McCartney sort of scenario – Paul, who had a long and happy relationship with first wife Linda until her death – followed by a more short-lived second marriage, and recently engaged at age 69.

I don’t believe that any of us see Hollywood couples as representative of the norm, or a lifestyle that we would ever lead. We realize that we can only guess at the reasons for a breakdown in these marriages (like any other), but it all seems so much more disappointing when children are involved. Anthony has two by a previous marriage, and now the twins, age 3, whom they share.

As for JLo, (turning 42 next week), and Anthony (soon to be 43), I wonder if they’ll still be at the marriage-go-round in their 50s. And their children? What sort of free-for-all will they experience if ever-changing blended families become their “normal?” Is this something that we can relate to?

Societal Mirror, Or Media Mind-Numbing?

And then I ask myself if the constancy of celebrity splits in the media is simply reflective of society at large, to what extent (if any) the media attention anesthetizes us to the impacts of divorce – much less the slow degradation of the notion of “commitment.”

I wonder if we shrug it off, check out the fashions in their latest photo opps, the signs of nips-and-tucks, and then move on to the next item that takes our minds off our own more pressing problems.

I wonder if we should care about these events at all.

And yet I admit – they sadden me.


© D A Wolf

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Comments

  1. I don’t want to be interested in Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s divorce, but I am. I think because so much of JL’s romantic history has played out in the public eye. I’m hopeful it’s a peaceful, drama free non-event, for their children’s sakes if nothing else.

  2. I’m more surprised when celebrities stay together. They live in a completely different world from the rest of us and are often immune from “regular people” consequences.

    • BigLittleWolf says:

      @Kelly – We certainly have had our eye on them for a long time, haven’t we. Back to ’99 really.
      @Pauline – immune from “regular people” consequences – yes, indeed. But their kids? Doubt it. But money to cover the shrinks won’t be a problem…

  3. Being through a divorce at one time myself, I honestly do not care why they split. Not that I don’t care enough to be saddened but I really struggled with my divorce and can’t even imagine facing it through the public eye. Divorce is horrible on everyone.

    I have however still managed to make my own ‘judgment’ perhaps his ego could not handle her being named the most beautiful person? Maybe this has been a struggle for them for three or more years? and the babies were a way (and the lewd dance routine on American Idol) to try to make it all come together… who knows. I wish them all the love in the world and if they want to marry twenty times each looking for that feeling of belonging with someone again… then that is what they should do. I am sure that their kids will come out of this just fine. Aren’t most Hollywood children already raised in a blended family aka nanny?

    • BigLittleWolf says:

      True, those children won’t lack for attention from someone – or the funds to pay for it. (Nanny as “blended family”? Interesting concept… :) Applicable for Arnold’s housekeeper, perhaps?)

  4. I only found out this morning and was shocked. They looked & seemed so in love & happy on American Idol so… I don’t get it. I’m glad it appears amicable but it’s still sad. Guess she’ll join the ranks with the rest of us single moms.

  5. haha I meant in the way that blended families mean caretakers standing in as an ‘extra’ mom. Arnold’s- that is another situation entirely…

  6. Anytime anyone divorces it is sad…celebrity couple or regular ordinary people like me. I can’t imagine being scrutinized under the microscope of media, though.

    That being said, that is about as far as my interest goes. I appreciate what these people do to entertain; however, they put themselves in the position of public eye and opinion by the very nature of their work. I do believe, though, that these two have managed to live a quiet, scandal-free marriage and believe they will have the grace to do so in divorce. Gotta admire celebs that manage to keep themselves far from adding to tabloid fodder. (I know that wasn’t always the case with JLo…maybe she has grown a bit?)

  7. Once again, I am amazed at the long, steady, drama-free, relationship between Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. They got married really really young too. Amazing!

  8. Then there are those in Hollywood who choose not to get married, like Kurt and Goldie and Tim and Susan (granted, now kaput). Who knows how the celebrity world works (or doesn’t)? Regardless, I feel bad for them. The end of a relationship is hard no matter who you are. JLo’s still fly, though.

    PS: It’s been a while since I dropped by, I guess. Love the new masthead!

  9. Divorce is never nice… Even when done “amicably”… I’m part of the amicable crew… My ex and I are still very close friends… It was still devastating when it happened…

  10. I was also saddened and surprised by the news. There are other couples that separating would not surprise me at all, but for some odd reason I felt JLo and Marc had found the secret to longevity. I hope they each learn to live with themselves before they try again.

  11. I think the celebrity world, obviously, has its own rules. To be honest, I was a little surprised by J-Lo & Marc Anthony’s break-up, but given both of their romantic histories, it now seems natural that they would divorce.
    The one marriage in Hollywood that seems solid is Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. I hope it lasts. They both seem like good people who love each other.

  12. They sadden me too…kids or not. I want so badly to believe in marriage–maybe because I’m in the first year of #2–and I hate when it breaks up. And I swear it’s breaking up all around me and I’m not posting it on the blog but I have had 4 friends break up in the past few months. It’s just starting to shake me a little bit too much. I just want to shout: CAN SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE IT WORK!?!?! So I have something to believe in. Time to look within, huh?

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